"Have you ever been bullied? Do you know someone who has? Bullying is an ongoing issue in school systems in the United States today. Many students suffer psychologically from the effects of bullying. In recent studies, between 15 and 25 children commit suicide every year because they are bullied. Furthermore, bullying is just as prevalent with girls as it is with boys. In most cases, nothing is done for the students who have reported being bullied on a regular basis. Violence within schools increase because of the lack of protocol from administrators when dealing with these types of cases. There are many types of bullying such as verbal, physical, racial, sexual and cyberspace. Many students have suffered from depression, low self-esteem and health problems as a result. Therefore, something needs to be done about bullying in and outside of the classroom. Reaching out your hand and helping someone who is being bullied may change their whole life.
The likelihood of tragedies occurring from bullying is very prevalent. For example, in Colorado at Columbine High School two males brought weapons into school and killed 13 students, eventually pulling the triggers on themselves. This could have been prevented if at least one person took a stand to help these boys cope and get through school successfully. In addition to that, there are long-term effects of bullying when a child reaches adulthood. It is traumatizing as a child to go through such hardships at a young age and not receive the adequate care to show the child positive ways to deal with their emotions.
Growing up as a child was extremely hard for me. I was alone most of the time and no one would ever listen to me. I was taken for granted and felt isolated among my peers. Furthermore, this speaks volumes about me because as an adult, it is hard to open up and let people into my life. Since no one ever cared about what I had to say and took the credit for my idea, silence was the only thing I knew. As a child I was bullied in school. On a daily basis I was made fun of and ridiculed about everything. Furthermore, I had to fight everyday just to defend myself. That never worked because it still continued no matter if I did say or do something about the situation; I always lost. Do you know what it feels like to go to school on a daily basis and have to deal with being bothered and it going unnoticed? I know the feeling of living my life in total darkness because I felt as if I was walking around with a mask over my face. I didn't exist among my peers and it hurt deep down inside, not to be a part of a group. Every single night I cried myself to sleep because I was in so much pain. I didn't understand why I had to be the one who was all alone and that people couldn't accept and respect me for who I was. In addition to that, I have become very angry and bitter from the hardships that I had to endure at a very young age. I didn't deserve to be treated that way and I never knew why I had to suffer the way that I did.
Being a leader here at Assumption College has allowed me to overcome many obstacles that I have faced in my past. I've learned so much through this leadership experience about opening up and letting people in. Growing up was very difficult for me because I didn't have the support and love from the people I cared so much about. I wanted to break free from the negativity and experience the positive atmosphere I have longed for.
My whole perspective has changed since I became Secretary of the ALANA Network. I've met a group of wonderful individuals who really do care about me and want to get to know me for who I am. It's an overwhelming feeling to get the support I've always wanted from the ALANA E-board, and I am truly blessed and grateful to work with individuals who are so passionate about their work. Coming into this new chapter in my life as a student leader I didn't have confidence within myself but now I see that it's slowly changing. Gaining confidence doesn't necessarily happen overnight but it's something that evolves gradually, and it's something that I am willing to work on.
Before being a student leader I was the one who was always by myself observing others personalities and never really had much to say to people. Since I've become a leader, I feel as though I've been growing a lot as a person to the point where I am comfortable talking to people and interacting with them on a regular basis. Being a leader means I have to be an example in and outside of the classroom. Furthermore, as a leader I have to be flexible and able to work with all types of people and their personalities. This journey hasn't been easy but it has been with the help of my peers and mentors that have made a difference for me."
Shatovia Devonish '12
Secretary, ALANA Network